Post player snatches boards and wins for Lions

Senior forward Calvin Dade gets ready to shoot a free throw against Lee University Feb. 7. The Lions won 77-67. Dade is averaging 14.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game on the season.

The men’s basketball team is on a roll, winning five of its last six games, and much of the success is due to the play of senior forward Calvin Dade.

Dade averaged 19.3 points and 11 rebounds during the six-game stretch. Dade’s play earned him Gulf South Conference Player of the Week Feb. 10.

While most people know Dade for his height and his playing ability on the court, some may not know much about him off the court.

“I really don’t talk a lot,” Dade said. “I just try to stick to the shadows. I’m a whole different person when I get on the court. I really don’t notice my surroundings and unless it’s my team, I really don’t hear much. I’m just trying to get the win.”

Head coach Bobby Champagne said he recruited Dade to be a force in the paint, something he lacked the previous season.

“We were coming off a year where we were out-rebounded almost every game,” Champagne said. “We needed a presence inside, and he filled that void.”

At 6-foot-6, Dade mostly plays in the post and is second in the GSC in rebounds (9.1) and first in offensive rebounds (3.5) per game. Not only can Dade dominate the inside, he can step out and play guard if needed.

“In high school I played every position,” Dade said. “In junior college I was recruited to play the three, four and five positions, like a small forward. We had enough guards but not enough big men. I just played where I knew I would get playing time, and I got better in the paint.”

Apart from Dade’s rebounding skills, he can also step out and take a mid-range jumper. He is second in the GSC in field goal percentage (58.6 percent).

“In high school I had the midrange shot, but I didn’t shoot it much,” he said. “In junior college I never shot it. I just got to the rim. With Marcus (Landry), Lazar (Petrov) and Luke (Corkery), I thought I would play more at the four, so I strengthened my game and worked on my midrange shot in the offseason.”

Dade said he hears people talk about his height on many occasions but says he likes the advantages of being tall.

“I haven’t really found a lot of disadvantages of being tall,” Dade said. “I get to ride on every ride at an amusement park, so being tall is where it’s at. I mean, I have to worry about hitting my head on stuff sometimes, but that’s about it.”

Dade is also an identical twin. His twin brother, Cordero, plays at Faulkner State, Dade’s previous school. The two were commonly known as “The Dunking Twins” in high school, Calvin said.

“We were playing Foley my senior year and my twin gets a fast break,” he said. “He took off for the dunk and hit the rim and almost breaks his back. It was the funniest thing. My coach took him out of the game to get checked out and then he came back in and did the exact same thing again. It was definitely (SportsCenter) Not Top 10 worthy. He missed twice in three minutes.”